Aussie Cilmi Signs Sweet U.S. Deal

Australia's Gabriella Cilmi -- whose debut single "Sweet About Me" went Top 10 in 10 territories -- has signed a U.S. deal with Universal Republic, it was announced today (Aug. 5).

The 16-year-old singer/songwriter will work the U.S. market early 2009, says the label. In a prepared statement, Universal Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman says: "Gabriella Cilmi is an incredible new artist on the verge of success at the highest level. She's soon to become a member of the great Australian acts that have broken on a global scale and have made an impact on pop culture."

"The release coincided with Cilmi's Australian label Warner Music Australia announcing that her debut album "Lessons To Be Learned" was certified platinum in her home territory for shipments of 70,000 units.

In the U.K., where Cilmi has been based for the past year and signed to Island, "Sweet About Me" was used on a TV commercial for Sure deodorant. It was BPI-certified gold for sales of 200,000 units after peaking at No. 6 on the Official U.K. Charts Co. weekly sales listing.

The single reached No. 1 in Croatia, No. 2 in Germany, No. 3 in Holland, Switzerland and Austria, No. 6 in New Zealand, No. 7 in Norway and No. 9 in Italy.

The album has also gone gold (100,000 shipped) following Cilmi's performances at U.K. festivals Glastonbury and T In The Park. She plays V Festival this month. In December, Cilmi returns to Australia to make her domestic festival debut in Sydney Dec. 6 at Homebake, headlined by Crowded House.